.

Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Eleven: June 9th, 2008

Day Eleven: Besham to Skardu by Road

Today, we woke up at 3:00am, had breakfast, and were on our way to Chilas by 3:45am. A few hours into the drive, thankfully after sunrise, we discovered that our tire was flat. We quickly put on the spare and got on our way; all be it at a very cautious speed. We finally arrived in Chilas, and realizing that we had another 8-9 hours remaining until Skardu, we decided to have a tea and stretch our legs. We continued on for quite some time. We stopped quite close to fairy meadows to get the tire repaired, then again continued at an agonizingly slow pace. The van was reaching a sweltering 38 degrees Celsius at times, making it more or less equivalent to hell on wheels. After much debating as to where we should get lunch, we finally decided to wait awhile and stop at the much cleaner PTDC hotel about 2.5 hours out of Skardu. The driver decided to speed up for this part; a decision that I wasnít thrilled about just after lunch, and we were finally in Skardu. We talked for a bit, got our rooms, and went back downstairs to meet the ATP guide who would be going on the trek with us. I had them get the bags that I had sent up by road a couple days earlier, hauled them into my room, and promptly had to return to the lobby to have dinner. While we were eating, Sultan told me that since 6 expeditions are leaving for Askole tomorrow, there might be a problem getting us enough porters, and that we might have to wait an additional day in Skardu. I said that that was fine, because I havenít even begun sorting my loads for the porters, and still have some things I need to buy around Skardu (i.e. gas cans, petrol for the generator, bamboo sticks, EPI Gas Cans, etc. ). We didnít decide anything, and then went to bed.